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Don Trachte

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SANDGATE -- Don Trachte, 89, along time resident of Sandgate, died at the Equinox Terrace in Manchester, on May 4, 2005. He was born in Madison, Wis., May 21, 1915, the son of the late Arthur Fredrick and Meta Trachte. Mr. Trachte graduated from Madison’s Central High School, attended the University of and later served in World War II as a lieutenant in the Army.

In his formative years in Madison, Trachte’s interest in art and drawing lead him to collaborate with the late Carl Anderson, the creator of the cartoon strip “Henry.” The first cartoon was submitted to the Saturday Evening Post in March of 1932 and quickly skyrocketed Henry to fame. Soon after, the cartoon strip was sought out by William Randolph Hearst for syndication and grew to appear in 400 newspapers in 40 countries. While drawing he spent, countless hours traveling for the USO in Europe, Alaska, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, where he entertained troops.

In 1950 Trachte moved his family to Arlington, in part because he knew the late Norman Rockwell, a man he greatly admired, lived there. Arlington provided a comfortable surrounding with famous artists who inspired him to paint as well as continue his cartoon work. He established a close relationship with Rockwell and posed for him several times. The most recognized Post cover, Trachte was the principal in “Outside the Principal’s Office.” Trachte was active with other local painters and became a committee member of the Southern Vermont Art Center.

The peaceful Arlington area helped nurture Trachte’s diverse interest in amateur theater, gardening, building stone walls, photography, repairing parlor organs, and running his pet baby bulldozer.

He is survived by four children: a daughter, Marjorie Rosenberg, Locust Valley, N.Y.; Donald Trachte Jr., Burlington; David Trachte, Sandgate; and Jon Trachte, Houston, Texas; his brother, David Trachte of Saint Joseph, Mo.

A private memorial service is planned at a later date. To send the Trachte family e-mail condolences, please consult www.sheafuneralhomes.com. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Brewster Funeral Service in Manchester.
Published in Bennington Banner on May 7, 2005
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